Legislative Updates - For Informational Purposes Only
- This information is being provided to assist employees in researching, reviewing, and evaluating how proposed legislative reform and/or changes may impact their benefits.
- Employees are responsible for researching, verifying, and evaluating how these changes and reform measures may impact them and their benefits.
- SOU is NOT providing a legal interpretation and/or changes and cannot evaluate how these changes may impact an individual employee’s benefits.
Human Resources Services provides the following information to assist SOU employees with educating themselves and understanding actions that can be taken now.
You are encouraged to research and monitor PERS legislation to determine how these changes may impact you. Regardless of legislative action, a licensed financial advisor can assist and advise you with your specific retirement goals and needs. Free sessions with a Financial Advisor are available through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Senate Bill 551 - Part-Time Faculty Medical Coverage
- Oregon Legislature - Senate Bill 551: olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/SB551
- SOU HR Senate Bill 551 Implementation Information: https://inside.sou.edu/hrs/sb551.html
In June of 2021, the State of Oregon passed Senate Bill 551 (SB 551). This bill established a mechanism for part-time faculty who are working an aggregate of .5 FTE across multiple Oregon institutions to obtain health care. This bill requires that the premium costs be funded at 90% by the home institution; with the employee having a 10% premium cost-share. This is for employee-only coverage and is limited to medical and prescription coverage. This benefit enrollment period will begin in October 2021 with plan coverage starting on November 1, 2021, if all conditions are met. The bill allows the employee to pursue enrollment if they believe they may qualify and provide their home institution evidence of eligibility within a specific time frame. Employees who believe they are eligible for coverage under SB 551 may select any of the Oregon Public Universities and Community Colleges that they are currently working at as their home institution and enroll in medical and prescription coverage offered at that institution.
More information about SB 551 can be found on the SOU SB 551 webpage.
Senate Bill 1049 - PERS Legislative Changes
This bill was passed and signed into law in order to reform PERS. This bill contains five major components that combined are expected to reduce system-wide employer contribution rates by 5.43% and reduce employer contributions by 1.2 to 1.8 billion a biennium beginning with the 2021-23 biennium.
Summary of Changes - Benefit Modifications
Individual Account Program (IAP) Redirect - EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2020
Redirects a portion of the 6% monthly contribution to a newly established Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA) when monthly salary is above the salary threshold:
- For Tier One/Two members, 3.5% to IAP and 2.5% to EPSA
- OPSRP members, 5.25% to IAP and .75% to EPSA
Redirected funds to the EPSA will be applied to partially fund the member's pension benefit at retirement. This change remains in effect until PERS is 90% funded at which time the total 6% contribution would go back to the IAP account. This change only applies to contributions made after July 1, 2020.
Members have an option to make additional after-tax contributions, through payroll deduction, in the redirected amount into their IAP by completing the PERS IAP Voluntary Contribution Election through the Online Member System (OMS), find a step-by-step guide here. Only members who are subject to the redirect can make these additional after-tax contributions, and only the exact redirected amount (2.5% for Tier 1 and Tier 2 or 0.75% for OPSRP) can be made through this voluntary contribution election.
Change in Final Average Salary Limit - EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2020
Caps annual salary at $195,000 for all purposes, including final average salary and employer contributions.
- For Tier One/Two, limit will impact pension benefits determined under the Full Formula or Formula Plus Annuity calculation methods; will not impact Money Match calculation method
- For OPSRP, limit will impact pension calculation
Change in Work After Retirement Limits - EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2020
If you retire on or after the normal retirement age for your retirement tier, there are no limitations on the number of hours you can work in a post-retirement appointment. Hour limitations still apply if you choose to retire early. Currently, Tier One/Two members who are under their full Social Security age have an hour limit of 1039/calendar year, and OPSRP members at any point in retirement have an hour limit of 600/calendar year.
Employers who choose to employ a PERS retiree will still be required to make retirement contributions, which will not impact the retiree's PERS benefits. Rather, contributions on retirees will be used to cover the Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL). This remains in effect calendar years 2020 until at least 2024.
Change in IAP Target-Date Funds - EFFECTIVE FALL 2020 (IN ADVANCE OF JANUARY 2021 MEMBER CHOICE)
By Fall 2020, PERS will inform members of an "optional investment choice window," in which the member can choose a Target-Date Fund for IAP investments, different from the default fund based on the member's birth year. IAP funds are currently invested in Target-Date Funds based on the member's birth year. Beginning in 2021, members may choose a fund that is more reflective of the member's risk tolerance, as opposed to the default based on age.
Summary of Benefit Changes - System Financing Modifications
Tier One/Two Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL) Amortization - EFFECTIVE UPON PASSAGE OF BILL
- Reamortization of UAL payment to 22 years as opposed to 16 years
- One time change to lower payments to the UAL for the upcoming biennium
- no effect on member benefits